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Mathis steps up for Alcovy
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Alcovy has already began the work to follow up a historical season.

The boys' basketball team recently concluded a 33-game summer league schedule which left coach Eugene Brown pleased with the Tigers' progress.

The summer is a good time for coaches to get a look at the rising sophomores and juniors who will be called on to contribute more in the upcoming season, and for Brown, he was able to focus even more attention to the youngsters. Alcovy was without two of its starters, Mike Tucker and Justin Wallace for most of the summer.
That allowed several players to step up, both veteran and novice.

One of those was a veteran who started about half of the Tigers 2012 games, proving pivotal for them as they reached the first round of the state playoffs. Rising junior Darius Mathis set a school record with six three pointers against Dutchtown on Jan. 6, and has improved even more this summer.

During several games he scored 30 or more points and led the Tigers in a successful summer.

"His game has taken a couple steps forward," Brown said. "We're now getting a lot of calls about him from major colleges. He's doing very well in the AAU circuit.

"We're really counting on him this year."

Another returner Brown is looking toward helping the 2012-13 squad is upcoming senior Marcus Beasley.

"He took a great number of steps forward," Brown said. "He's going to be counted on a little more to defend and rebound."

Also being counted on a lot more than in 2011-12 is Juwan Henderson. The rising junior will be replacing point guards Devon Edwards and Dairmid Williams, who were big, not only as passers and shooters but also leaders.

"Our biggest component we're going to miss is Devon Edwards and D Williams. Juwan Henderson had an outstanding summer.

He had taken his two years of apprenticeship and put it to good use. He was leading our team on both ends of the floor, just getting it done.

"He did a great job this summer, he's going to have a spectacular junior and senior campaign for us."

Plenty of players stepped up with improved summers, including Cameron Blanks and Marquis Simms, both rising sophomores.

"Both are outstanding offensive players and great shooters and will be able to play our complex defenses very well," Brown said. "Those two guys showed really well and added depth for us."

Depth will be a big thing for Alcovy as it enters a new classification a year after bursting onto the AAAA scene.

"We're looking forward to this year with guys taking care of depth," Brown said. "The guys are focused on playing in AAAAAA and really looking forward to complete in that new classification."

Despite the jump up in two classifications, Brown feels the Tigers are ready for a new challenge, and will use this successful summer as a jumping off point.

"These guys have proven in the past years they're not afraid of competition, they're not going to back down from anybody," Brown said. "We did some great things last year but that was in the past. They're ready to put their own stamp on the Alcovy program. We're really excited about this upcoming group."